New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks at a press conference in New York on September 8, 2020.
Spencer Pratt | Getty Images
Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday that the New York Attorney General is investigating whether a medical clinic in the state fraudulently obtained a dose of Covid vaccine and distributed it to the public.
Cuomo declined to provide details of the investigation because the investigation is ongoing, but he pointed out that the investigation involved the ParCare Community Health Network, which the state identified as the provider of Orange County, New York. Cuomo said Parcare allegedly falsely stated to the state health department about the dose of the vaccine it was seeking.
New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said in a statement issued over the weekend that the clinic may “have moved [the vaccine] For the public, this runs counter to the state̵
Due to the shortage of vaccines, states assign vials to certain priority groups before making them available for wider use.
ParCare did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment, but the clinic said on Twitter that it would “actively cooperate” with the New York State Department of Health.
Cuomo said this is the first batch of suspected Covid vaccine-related fraud cases, but it is unlikely to be the last. He added that fraud involving valuable commodities is “almost an inevitable function of human nature.”
Cuomo said at a press conference on Monday: “We want a clear signal to health care providers that if you violate the laws regarding these vaccines, we will find out and be prosecuted.” “You will get more and more See this vaccine a lot. This vaccine is a valuable commodity, and many people want it.”
Cuomo pointed out that the New York State Police has been conducting criminal investigations and will transfer the case to New York AG Letitia James, whose office has not responded to CNBC’s request for comment.
In order to send a clear signal to potential vaccine offenders, Cuomo said he will sign an executive order on Monday explaining the consequences of cheating the state on vaccine distribution. He said that New York State may impose a fine of up to $1 million on violators and that the state will revoke the health care provider’s license to practice in New York.
He said: “We take this very seriously.” “We will find out your license and possible civil and criminal penalties. It is not worth the risk.”
Cuomo described the punishment as “the harshest in the United States,” and added that New York is taking an “over-cautious and vigilant” approach.
Cuomo said: “We have appropriate penalties. We have appropriate safeguards, but when you deal with thousands of people, hundreds of organizations, and a valuable product, there will be a certain degree of fraud. “It is certain that on the night of the next day, there will be people who deceive the government.”
He added: “I know the value of a vial.” “Some of these vials can be vaccinated with 10 vaccines. You can sell a vial, so I understand the temptation.”